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BAD DOG SCHOOL by Barbara M. Joosse


by Barbara M. Joosse & illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 2004
ISBN: 0-618-13331-3
Publisher: Clarion

Zippy is a small, tan dog of indeterminate breed but distinct character in this story with a theme of compromise and moderation. Zippy is the faithful companion of a boy named Harris, who loves all of his dog’s mischievous antics, such as stealing dinner off the countertop, digging up the garden, and howling like a wolf. When the rest of the family concludes that Zippy needs obedience training, the class reforms him. Alas, with his newfound training, Zippy has lost his zip, and everyone misses their pet’s previous personality. Off to “Bad Dog School,” where he learns to enjoy his favorite activities in a more moderate way. The illustrations in watercolor and ink bring little Zippy to life, with particularly expressive eyes and ears and a variety of appealing poses. Trails of tiny, muddy footprints scamper across the endpapers and title page, leading the reader right into the story; Plecas repeats this clever device in several illustrations. It’s a little long, and Harris looks a little old to be playing pirates with his dog, but Zippy zooms past these issues with ease thanks to his zesty individuality. (Picture book. 4-7)